A recent research article has championed the metabolic effects of a favorite culinary spice: cayenne pepper. This herb has historically been used for all kinds of health promoting purposes, including opening up blood vessels during heart attacks, fighting off colds and flus, joint pain, migraine headaches, preventing blood clots, and others. It’s a component of the well known and loved “master cleanse,” which likely is due to its metabolic activity. Cayenne is also a rich source of vitamin A.  In the research paper, an extract from cayenne was used to boost metabolic rate – its capsaicinoid content is being hailed as the driving constituent having this effect.

“Hot” Study Finds Resting Energy Expenditure Equivalent to Burning Extra 116 Calories/Day

40 healthy adults were given a product containing 2mg capsaicinoid and their resting energy expenditure, heart rate and blood pressure were tracked. Resting energy expenditure is the amount of energy your body uses in a resting state, just sitting at your, desk for instance. By increasing resting metabolic rate, more calories are burned throughout the day. The study showed that the resting energy expenditure did increase to the equivalent of burning an extra 116 calories per day.

Cayenne Stimulates Saliva Production, thus Improving Digestion

Cayenne may not be a miracle weight loss pill in the making, however could be an easy addition to daily eating choices which could add to other lifestyle changes to help burn more fat, and have more energy. It stimulates saliva production, which is the first step in the digestive process, thereby improving digestion; perhaps a reason for indulging in more salsa at the mexican restaraunt you love. And there is likely no need to purchase special products containing extracts of cayenne, as long as the spice you’re using is relatively fresh (it’ll taste a lot better as well).

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Node Smith, associate editor for NDNR, is a fifth year naturopathic medical student at NUNM, where he has been instrumental in maintaining a firm connection to the philosophy and heritage of naturopathic medicine amongst the next generation of docs. He helped found the first multi-generational experiential retreat, which brings elders, alumni, and students together for a weekend campout where naturopathic medicine and medical philosophy are experienced in nature. Three years ago he helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic ReVitalization (ANR), for which he serves as the board chairman. ANR has a mission to inspire health practitioners to embody the naturopathic principles through experiential education. Node also has a firm belief that the next era of naturopathic medicine will see a resurgence of in-patient facilities which use fasting, earthing, hydrotherapy and homeopathy to bring people back from chronic diseases of modern living; he is involved in numerous conversations and projects to bring about this vision.

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